IHOP opens outlet in city, plans second one (Winnipeg Free Press)

Sep 25, 2017

By: Murray McNeill/Commercial Real Estate

John Sikking of Parkerhouse Holdings (left) and Kapil Raval, IHOP Winnipeg’s general manager, stand outside the restaurant, which opens its doors this morning at the Seasons/Outlet Collection Winnipeg.

One of the world’s best-known breakfast chains — International House of Pancakes, IHOP for short, has finally arrived in Winnipeg.

The first of what could be at least four IHOP outlets was to open at 8 a.m. today in the Seasons/Outlet Collection Winnipeg mixed-use development, which is located on the northwest corner of Kenaston Boulevard and Sterling Lyon Parkway.

The 6,000-square-foot eatery is the first, with additional IHOP restaurants possibly opening in Winnipeg in the next five to six years. "We’d like to get at least three more in Winnipeg," said John Sikking, an official with Parkerhouse Holdings, which is the IHOP franchisee for the three Prairie provinces.

"Kind of hit the four corners (of the city) is what we’d like to do." Sikking revealed Winnipeg isn’t the only Manitoba city the company is interested in. "We’d like to eventually get to Brandon and possibly Thompson," he said.

Sikking said the company, which announced in September 2016 that it would be coming to Winnipeg, will likely wait at least a year before opening a second outlet. "The Regent (Avenue) area... is probably the area we’d love to be in next," he said.

IHOP isn’t the only recent arrival at the Seasons/Outlet Collection Winnipeg development. Two other businesses opened last week — a 2,000-square-foot Good Earth Coffeehouse, which opened Tuesday in the same building as IHOP, and the 127-room Hilton Garden Inn Winnipeg South hotel, which opened on Wednesday.

Veronica Eno, development manager for Seasons, said construction also recently got underway on two more multi-tenant buildings in the development. She said a couple more restaurants will be setting up shop in those buildings, but she didn’t have the go-ahead yet to reveal their names.

Eno noted the first group of residents recently moved into the first building in the five-phase, 410-unit Summit at Seasons apartment complex. Within the next few weeks, the first residents in the development’s assisted living senior’s complex will be moving in. The new Audi Winnipeg dealership is slated to open later this year, while the new Porsche Centre Winnipeg dealership won’t be arriving until late next year, she said.

The Seasons development’s marquee attraction — the 400,000-square-foot Outlet Collection Winnipeg premium factory outlet mall — also recently welcomed a couple of new tenants. A 27,000-square-foot Winners store and a 26,000-square-foot F21 Red fashion outlet both opened during the last week of August, which was several weeks earlier than expected. "They wanted to capture the back-to-school traffic," explained Outlet Collection Winnipeg general manager Dimitrios Cotsianis. "So all of our major anchors (anchor tenants) are now fully operational, which is great for the mall."

The outlet mall, which is Manitoba’s first, opened to huge crowds in early May. And it has remained busy, Cotsianis added. "Sales are strong and we’re continuing to see an increase in traffic month over month, which is very positive. IHOP will also obviously bring additional traffic, so we look forward to welcoming them... as a neighbour."

The same goes for the new Hilton Garden Inn, Cotsianis added.

The $35-million, four-star Hilton was developed by SK Developments Inc., which is owned by Winnipeg developer/hotel operator Darshan Kaila and his family. Darshan’s son, Moni,, said the hotel is also benefiting from being next door to the outlet mall.

"We’ve had a number of people come in who said they were shopping in the mall and just wanted to come in and take a look (at the hotel). They said they’d be back at Christmas time." Kaila said the hotel received 13 reservations on its first day, and another 27 on its second day of operation.

"We’ve also got a number of events booked for... the end of this year and early next year. So it’s been a great, great reception." Sikking said Parker House Holdings is thrilled to be opening its flagship Winnipeg outlet in such a busy retail node.

"The traffic counts on Kenaston are huge, and IKEA is across the street. So there is lots of traffic." Although IHOP offers meals for any time of the day, it’s best known for its 65 made-to-order breakfast offerings, which include its signature buttermilk pancakes.

An additional feature that no other IHOP restaurant in Canada has is a separate coffee bar within the restaurant. The coffee bar offers a variety of specialty coffees, cappuccinos and flavoured lattes, as well as a selection of "grab-and-go" food items for customers who don’t have time for a sit-down meal.

Sikking lives in Alberta but visited Winnipeg on many occasions, said he’s confident Winnipeggers will like what IHOP has to offer. "I just believe we will fit in in Winnipeg," he added.